Culture At A Crossroads: Corona Edition with Mike Schreiner

Mike Schreiner is the leader of the Green Party of Ontario and the MPP for Guelph, the first-ever Green MPP elected to the Ontario Legislature. Mike was elected leader of the Green Party of Ontario in 2009 and became MPP with a resounding 45% of the vote in his riding in the 2018 provincial election.

Amid COVID-19 Mike has been very vocal in opposition. He has both contributed to and challenged the legislation that Premier Ford has passed in Ontario thus far. In this special ‘Culture At A Crossroads’ interview, we consider how the Coronavirus has helped unify the political parties. Mike will explain how he helped shape the Ontario Relief Package, what he’s suggesting to better protect tenants and landlords in Ontario. He’ll also share why he thinks the province has responded well to education, and what still needs to happen to ensure Ontario’s most vulnerable are taken care of.

The following is the transcript from the Culture At A Crossroads podcast interview.

DM: Mike Schreiner, thanks so much for taking this time.

MS: Oh, my pleasure to join you, David.

DM: We're in a really interesting time in Ontario and in the world. What's it been like for you just to be responding to a crisis like COVID-19?

MS: Yeah. You know, it feels a bit like you're living in a movie to some extent, and I'm sure everyone is, is feeling this.

You know, my days are spent at home mostly and doing video calls with constituents, business groups, healthcare providers, other politicians and parties, etc. You know, it's trained to be doing all of these meetings that normally you would do face to face via video conference.

And then to have one issue, obviously just dominate, everything that you talk about, everything that you do. And then, you know the other thing that's been striking for me is something I've been saying is we need to court quarantine partisanship and really work across party lines to put people first. Do everything we can to save lives to make sure we alleviate the economic impact that's so negative on so many people and local businesses.

And, you know, it's been an unprecedented degree of working across party lines at Queens park. And, you know, while I don't agree with everything the government is doing, and while I, you know, continue to work hard to hold the government accountable and do my job as an opposition member.